so i've been reading The Hole in Our Gospel by Rich Stearns.
it's my new "Radical" - like i'm pretty sure anyone who knows me knows how much i love Radical (so much so that i was under "book-smuggling-watch" when we were handing them out at theWell on Thursday ;))
but The Hole in Our Gospel is even more personal.
reading Rich's story and reading the hard-hitting facts has been eye-opening and heart-piercing.
two quotes from Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision, have literally rocked my world:
"Let my heart be broken for the things that break the heart of God."
"Don't fail to do something just because you can't do everything."dang.
reading this really hits home.
because i'm not just reading statistics.
i'm not just reading about why i should step up.
i'm reading about people.
i'm reading the stories of real people.
people who are suffering.
people who have far less than i.
but have faith much stronger than mine.
i complain under my breath when i have a high water bill.
i'm reading about men, women, and children who are dying because they don't have access to clean water.
i complain about making it paycheck to paycheck.
i'm reading about men, women, and children who are living on less than $1 a day.
talk about a true gut-punching wake-up call.
"Don't fail to do something just because you can't do everything."
i'm doing something.
i've put it off far too long under the pretense that "i'm not going to make a difference."
and i may not be able to impact the world, but i can impact one person.
i can make a difference in one person's life.
that's all it takes.
I read a similar parable in the book. (I couldn't find the exact one that Rich used in his book and I didn't want to type the entire thing - but here's one that I found that was pretty much the same that I was able to copy/paste ;)):
As a man walked a desolate beach one cold, gray morning he began to see another figure, far in the distance. Slowly the two approached each other, and he could make out a local native who kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he hurled things into the ocean. As the distance between them continued to narrow, the man could see that the native was picking up starfish that had been washed upon the beach and, one at a time, was throwing them back into the water. Puzzled, the man approached the native and asked what he was doing."I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it's low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die up here from lack of oxygen.""But there must be thousands of starfish on this beach," the man replied. "You can't possibly get to all of them. There are just too many. And this same thing is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"The local native smiled, bent down and picked up another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea he replied, "Made a difference to that one!"
what would our world look like if we stepped up and tried not to change the world.
but just one person's life.
it's all it takes.